Washington Township hopes to hold taxes in check

November 17, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors on Monday adopted a preliminary budget that could make 2010 the sixth consecutive year without a tax increase for township residents.

If passed on Dec. 21 as proposed, the $4.3 million budget would maintain the current property tax rate of 4.4 mills. Projections for revenues and expenditures were lowered by several hundred thousand dollars from 2009.

Supervisors Elaine Gladhill, John Gorman, Stephen Kulla and Carroll Sturm voted in favor of the preliminary budget on Monday. Supervisor Christopher Firme voted against it, saying he didn't agree with the 1 percent wage increases for employees.

Insurance, benefits, pensions and the police department represent half of the township's planned expenditures in 2010.

In other business at Monday's meeting, the supervisors approved a codified version of the township's ordinances. Contracted firm General Code consolidated and computerized the 223 ordinances over the course of three years for a fee of $25,000.


The supervisors and township staff edited the new version for consistency and updates.

"When things were updated, (the township) didn't always change the others," Kulla said.

Sturm said General Code checked the ordinances against federal, state and other local laws.

"What you have now is as close to perfect as you can be," he said.

The supervisors spent $2,700 for two legal advertisements notifying the public of Monday's five-minute hearing about the codification.

"Legally, we have to set forth a summary of the ordinance in reasonable detail," Solicitor John Lisko said of the length of the legal ads.

Township Manager Mike Christopher said he continues to encourage state legislators to change requirements for advertising public meetings and hearings.

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